New Delhi [India], April 2 (ANI/ATK): The Agriculture Sector in India has taken a severe hit from the shift in the weather cycles. Despite nutrient-rich soil, the heat, unpredictable rainfalls and recurrent floods have caused extensive damage to crop yields over the past few years.
As a result, the country has been unable to produce enough agricultural products to meet the requirement. The existing solution to this is the use of pesticides, which diminish the quality of the produce that reaches the customers through retail outlets or restaurants.
In order to provide healthy and toxic-free food to the public, PlantMe Agro Solutions, a Kerala-based agritech startup has ramped-up its operations and is partnering with hotels and resorts. To begin with, the company has currently partnered with Tonico Cafe at Kochi and Elixir Hills at Munnar. PlantMe Agro Solutions is founded by Ashwin Ramachandran – a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Mobme, Nithin Kumar – Executive Director of Kanaka Polypack Pvt Ltd, and Parvathy Sasikumar- an agritech enthusiast turned Entrepreneur, Akhila Ramdas – an MTech in Artificial Intelligence. PlantMe is advised and mentored by Muraleemanohar, Managing Director, Farm Tech Consultancy.
With its partnership with these cafes and resorts in the state, the company has taken a step towards attaining its vision of providing fresh, pesticide and toxic-free produce to consumers. It helps PlantMe to take the ‘farm to fork concept’ to the next level. PlantMe’s solutions put more control and power in the hands of the people. By strategically overcoming the challenges of urban farming, the solutions open new doors for individuals as well as commercial farmers.
As a first step towards this, PlantMe has helped Tonico Cafe in Kochi install a vertical hydroponic farm with a variety of greens like Basil, Kale, Cilantro etc. The cafe requires fresh Basil leaves for its signature pesto sauce which is hard to procure in the state. Through its farm, Tonico Cafe not only found a stable supply of fresh basil but also cultivated other greens like Kale, Mint etc. This has allowed the cafe to serve toxic-free fresh food to its diners.
“We at Tonico Cafe have always emphasized serving the freshest and finest products to our customers. That’s what made Tonico Cafe to try hydroponic solutions offered by PlantMe. It is a convenient and affordable method which solves the problem of lack of space or land, regulates the temperature and humidity and also reduces the risk of pest invasion. The fresh greens thus produced here at Tonico Cafe work real magic with its dishes by truly enhancing their taste and colour. This is one of the reasons why the menu of Tonico Cafe has become an all-time favourite of food lovers! Tony Jose, Founder & CEO, Tonico Cafe.
The soilless farming method is a rave around the world right now as the “future of farming”. In this system, the roots are immersed in nutrient-rich solution, which helps plants to grow faster, with minimum effort, and with very little space and water compared to traditional agricultural methods. Since the crops grow faster, farmers can produce more yields in a season making it a highly profitable choice. They also have the option of experimenting with more varieties of crops.
Speaking about the soil-less farming initiative at Elixir Luke Stephen, Managing Director, Elixir Hills said, “We, at Elixir have always prioritised the wellbeing of our customers, and have started looking at hydroponics as a solution to the shortage of fresh, toxic-free food supply in the market. By moving from soil to soilless farming, adopting protected cultivation and installing climate control systems, we are not only protecting our crops from the impact of climate change but also expanding our horizons. With PlantMe’s sustainable solutions, we are now able to produce leafy greens and fruity vegetables such tomatoes, capsicum, cherry tomatoes, cucumber etc. We are hoping to extend our own commercial farms and give our customers the best dining experience. After all, high-quality food is the hallmark of high-quality hospitality.”
As a whole, PlantMe’s solutions have been helping individuals, cafes, resorts, and commercial farms with a promise of high-quality pesticide-free food produce. They would be guided and supported at every step by the consultants at PlantMe Agro (www.plantmeagro.com) to find the right solutions for their needs.
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